Counseling (M.A.)

M.A. in Counseling

The M.A. degree program in Counseling is informed by an understanding of Christian faith and mental health. We are committed to training graduate-level clinicians to be instruments of change that reflect a compassionate presence to the diverse and changing communities they will serve. Graduate students are trained in the knowledge and skills of effective counseling and ethical practice in order to seek social justice and offer hope as they serve others with integrity and humility.

The College of Adult & Professional Studies offers undergraduate certificates in Addiction Studies and in Alcohol and Drug Counseling.  Contact the program director for more information.

Program Outcomes

Graduates of the M.A. in Counseling Program at Bethel University will:

  • Develop a professional identity as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor within the broader counseling profession.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in the counseling core curriculum and specialty area of Clinical Mental Health Counseling.
  • Apply research to the evaluation and practice of effective counseling.
  • Apply ethical principles and ethical decision-making to counseling practice.
  • Apply cultural sensitivity and social justice advocacy in research, assessment, and practice.
  • Develop sensitivity to religious and spiritual diversity throughout the counseling process.
  • Demonstrate professional counseling competencies in a mental health clinical setting.

Program Design

  • The program is designed to be completed in three academic years (33 months), including summer sessions.
  • Classes meet either one afternoon and evening or two evenings each week.
  • A summer practicum, fall internship, and spring internship is required during the final year.
  • A supportive learning community is achieved through the cohort model—a small group of students who will progress through their degree program together.

Degree Program

COUN 600 • Foundations of Clinical Mental Health Counseling 3 Credits.

Overview of the history and current practice of Clinical Mental Health Counseling. Emphasis is on professional identity, practice issues, working with systems, consultation and advocacy, and preventative counseling. Issues of serving diverse communities and access to service will be addressed.

COUN 605 • Family Systems 3 Credits.

The study of family systems and the major family therapy theories including their application to case conceptualization, clinical treatment planning, and clinical intervention methods. Emphasis on the relationship between theory and practice and critiquing models in light of current research perspectives, including gender and diversity concerns.

COUN 610 • Counseling Microskills 3 Credits.

Overview and practice of core counseling skills. Emphasis is on the development of core helping skills and attitudes foundational to an effective counseling process. Specific focus on interviewing skills with attention towards counseling relationship ethics and cultural diversity factors may influence the counseling process.

COUN 615 • Worldview and Integration of Faith and Spirituality in Counseling 3 Credits.

Overview and critique of different worldviews and their impact on the counseling process. Topics include those central to counseling and engaging respectfully with issues of faith and spirituality. Specific focus is on working to understand one’s own faith and spirituality and how to engage with clients who differ.

COUN 620 • Multicultural Counseling and Social Justice 3 Credits.

Demonstration of knowledge of theories and models of multicultural counseling. Examination of heritage, attitudes and beliefs upon view of others. Application of social justice ethical principles. Evaluation of power and privilege. Examination of personal cultural identity. Integration of ethical and culturally sensitive counseling strategies.

COUN 625 • Theories and Techniques of Group Counseling 3 Credits.

A study of the theories, techniques, history, and principles related to group practice in counseling. Emphasis is on development of group facilitation skills. Ethical concerns, multicultural adaptations, and spiritual integration in group dynamics are addressed.

COUN 630 • Addictions Counseling 3 Credits.

Demonstration of knowledge of addiction counseling and its various forms. Demonstration of understanding of the etiology of addiction, symptoms, assessments, and diagnoses including co-occurring disorders. Examination of neurological factors and the role of psychopharmacology in addiction counseling. Evaluation of evidence-based treatment approaches. Examination of legal and ethical issues and gender and culturally responsible counseling strategies specific to addictions counseling.

COUN 635 • Lifespan Development 3 Credits.

Demonstration of knowledge of human development and aging issues. Examination of developmental theory assumptions. Examination of biological, cultural, social and spiritual factors. Evaluation of crisis and trauma. Integration of cultural and developmental factors in clinical practice.

COUN 640 • Psychopathology and Diagnosis 3 Credits.

Demonstration of knowledge of diagnostic categories of the DSM-5 and ICD. Examination of the history and etiology of psychopathologies. Demonstration of ability to extract important diagnostic information in the diagnostic process. Evaluation of client’s context to formulate diagnosis. Analysis of diagnosis to understand clinical issues. Examination of ethical issues of diagnoses and treatment.

COUN 645 • Individual and Family Assessment 3 Credits.

Examination of assessment throughout the counseling process. Current and historical context of assessment and testing in counseling. Emphasis on administration, scoring, and interpretation of instruments for assessment and diagnosis of personality and psychopathology; psychometric properties; ethical use of instruments; factors affecting reliability and validity; and synthesizing data. Ethical and cultural relevant strategies for assessment are addressed.
Course fee: $50.

COUN 650 • Theories and Techniques of Counseling 3 Credits.

Demonstration of knowledge of the major theories and models of counseling and consultation. Demonstration of theoretical applications including case conceptualization, clinical treatment planning, and clinical intervention methods. Evaluation of counseling models from theological and contemporary counseling research including gender and diversity concerns. Examination of counseling problems from different theoretical perspectives. Examination of evidence based treatment approaches.

COUN 655 • Professional Orientation and Ethics 3 Credits.

Legal, ethical, and professional issues facing mental health providers, including confidentiality, informed consent, client dangerousness, conflicts of interest, boundary issues (including sexual involvement), values conflicts, religious issues and ethics, and scope of competence are addressed. Emerging ethical standards, particularly with regard to new technologies. Emphasis on the American Counseling Association Code of Ethics and professional conduct and MN state licensure statutes.

COUN 660 • Research Methods and Evaluation 3 Credits.

Study qualitative and quantitative research designs particularly applicable to professional counseling. Primary emphasis is on developing research skills in using outcome measures in the evaluation of effective clinical practice and using research findings in clinical decision making. Ethical and culturally relevant strategies for research are addressed.

COUN 665 • Clinical Assessment and Intervention 3 Credits.

Knowledge and practice of the skills necessary to conduct mental health assessments and interventions in the clinical settings. Conducting assessment with children, adolescents, adults, and families will be covered. Specific focus on treatment planning and crisis intervention models including suicidal clients, child abuse and neglect, and IPV.

COUN 670 • Theories and Techniques of Career Counseling 3 Credits.

Examination of major career development theories and their application to practice. Specific topics include career assessments, gender and cultural implications and career decision-making. Emphasis on practical skills to support client career decisions and development.
Career assessments fee: $50.

COUN 675 • Child and Adolescent Counseling 3 Credits.

Overview of the major theories and techniques for working with children and adolescents in counseling. Topics include: behavioral interventions, expressive therapy interventions, communication with school and outside services, legal and ethical issues specific to children and adolescents, and multicultural practice implications. Specific focus on the family system and its engagement in the counseling process.

COUN 680 • Neuroscience, Counseling, and Trauma 3 Credits.

Introduction to the structure and function of the brain including biological basis of normal behavior and behavioral disorders, the influence of trauma on the brain, and drug influences on behavior. Trauma treatment strategies in counseling and psychopharmacological approaches will be addressed.

COUN 780 • Practicum 3 Credits.

Initial supervised counseling experience involving individual and group counseling practice in the community. 100 hours of experience at a practicum site including 50 direct client contact hours of which 10 must be group work. Individual and group weekly supervision is required.

COUN 781 • Internship I 3 Credits.

Supervised counseling internship provides students the opportunity to gain professional and clinical experience providing mental health services to the community. 300 hours of experience at an internship site including a minimum of 120 direct client contact hours. Individual and group weekly supervision is required.

COUN 790 • Internship II 3 Credits.

Advanced supervised counseling internship provides students the continued opportunity to gain professional and clinical experience providing mental health services to the community. 300 hours of experience at an internship site including a minimum of 120 direct client contact hours. Individual and group weekly supervision is required. Completion of course signified the completion of program clinical training requirements.